Richardson reflects on huge mark

Published 12:01am Thursday, November 15, 2012

JACKSON — Rico Richardson started his career at Jackson State University with a modest 135 yards receiving in his freshman season.

But the former Natchez High School standout continued to improve each season, and last week that improvement culminated in history.

Richardson became only the fifth player in Tiger history to surpass the 1,000 yard receiving mark last week in the team’s 35-21 win over Alabama A&M.

“One of my main goals this season was to reach 1,000 yards, and to do it in front of my home crowd and family was a great thing,” Richardson said.

Richardson credits his steady improvement to hard work, his coaches and his teammates.

“This has been my best year since I’ve been at JSU,” he said. “There’s a lot of young guys that have done a great job. I’m the only senior, and the rest of the guys are new, and they came in and have done an amazing job helping me out and making plays.

“A lot of credit goes to the coaching. They have put in so much hard work to get us players better. And all the hard work I’ve put in is starting to pay off.”

Richardson has been a big-play threat his final two seasons at Jackson State, and his 1,000th yard came on a 67-yard touchdown pass.

“It was a deep ball that the quarterback (Clayton Moore) checked to,” he said. “We were working on it all week at practice and knew it was going to be open, and if I catch it, it would be a touchdown.”

The senior wide out is averaging nearly 20 yards per catch this season and averaged 24 last year.

Saturday, Richardson will have a homecoming of sorts when he travels from Jackson to Lorman to face Alcorn State.

Richardson said growing up in Natchez gave him the opportunity to go to a few Alcorn games when he was younger, and he looks forward to Saturday’s game.

“I can’t even describe it,” he said. “Playing so close to home and knowing everyone at Alcorn (will be great). All my friends go there, and we have been talking trash all week. It’s a great atmosphere, and I know it will be super packed, and we will have a great game.”

A few of Richardson’s high school teammates and opponents will be on the field for the Braves as well, but he said after the game is over they will reunite as friends.

“We’re going to talk a lot of mess to each other the whole day, but after that we will get together and have some fun.”

Jackson State (6-4, 6-2) will travel to face Alcorn (4-6, 4-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday.